Last week, I lost a former classmate from high school. This isn’t the first classmate of mine to pass away too early in life, but something I’m noticing as people my age are passing away is that many of them (and of course, not all) are pretty heavy and dying of weight-related diseases or maladies. This is something that is doubly difficult: First, because they passed away at a young age, and second, because it is completely avoidable.
My doctors, my family, and my friends all warned me. They told me some unsettling and uncomfortable things because they cared. They had conversations you don’t want to have because they didn’t want me to die young. They broached the subject with as much tact as they could muster, but ultimately, are you ever ready to tell someone that the course their life is taking will lead them to an early grave?
When my cousin talked to me about it, she told me she didn’t want to see me die young. When my grandmother talked to me about it, she said she loved me and didn’t want to see me die before her. My friends talked to me and said they were worried I would miss out on our hi-jinks and hilarity by dying young. They got past their own fear of bringing up the subject and talked to me about it. I have to be honest: without their pushing, I might very well be dead today.
I propose we stop walking on eggshells around those of us we love and who are obese. They need our help, our support, and our love. My grandmother used to say, “I tell you not to hurt you, but because I love you, and as such, it is my duty.”
If you are married to someone obese, it is your duty to help them. If your parents, siblings, or children are obese, it is your duty to help them. If a dear friend is obese, it is your duty as their friend to help them. Being obese is curable through diet*. Being obese is something that can be tackled and defeated. For some it’s more difficult than others, but ultimately, it’s something that, with help, support, and love, people can defeat.
We are losing too many people to weight-related issues. This is beyond sad and ridiculous. We live in a world of plenty and comfort. Eating ourselves to death is not living the American Dream or exercising any rights or liberty. It is something to be attacked and defeated. Stop remaining silent. Use some tact and talk about it.
*Some people have medical conditions that need to be addressed to lose weight. Get them to a doctor.